It’s New Year’s Eve, the day before we embark on a fresh new decade of human existence. For those that are passionate about the world of environmental activism and progressive regulation, looking back on 2009 is likely to fill one with mixed emotions.
And now, thanks to a recent report by the Daily Mail, rumors are swirling around that China may have had more to do with the lackluster Copenhagen Accord than was originally suspected.
The Mail on Sunday, a UK publication, tracked the leaked data from the University of East Anglia’s climate change department to a suspect computer which provides internet access to China.
The emails contained language that may have implied that world scientists had been manipulating findings in order to make climate change seem more serious than it really is; however some have said that the emails have been taken out of context.
The controversy surrounding these leaked emails, which came to be known as “Climategate” in the U.S. and “Warmergate” in the UK, disrupted the world’s focus on Copenhagen and has been blamed for the inability of the U.S. to bring it’s own agressive policy to the table at the UN Climate Conference. It has also been said that this recent discovery only solidifies criticisms that, behind closed doors, China was a significant blocking force to any real reform at Copenhagen.
The internet address used to post the messages is linked to several others used by the Chinese- one is a Chinese environmental institute, the Research Institute of Forest Ecology and Environment Protection, based near Beijing.
Several professors from this institute are regulars at climate change conferences where they have shared a platform with the University of East Anglia experts. After our enquiries in Malaysia began, the suspect computer links to China were suddenly cut.
Although those disappointed by the anti-climactic, non-binding agreement that emerged from the Copenhagen Conference can’t help but be scandalized by these speculations, the fact remains that playing the blame game isn’t going to improve the climate crisis, or convince one of the world’s most powerful developing nations to come back to the table in 2010.
Treehugger.com writer Alex Pasternack recently put together a collection of compelling counterarguments on this topic in a piece titled, “Blaming China for Copenhagen Won’t Help the Climate.”
If it [China] did indeed force the final accord in Copenhagen in its favor, that may point to a failure of the international climate treaty-making process. But more importantly, even amidst a possible redrawing of the climate relations map, China’s role at Copenhagen reminds us of the key issue dividing the developing and developed world: while it hurtles towards a clean tech economy, China, like other high-emitting developing nations, is laser-focused on its “right to develop.” And it expects the developed world to do much more to prevent climate change. Rightly so.
When pointing the finger at those who stood in the way of the miraculous solution we were all hoping would come out of Copenhagen, it’s important to realize that the only blame we can rightly place is on ourselves.
Many countries shirked their responsibilities in those negotiations, especially the United States, and this is proof that we have not yet figured out a way to put aside our political differences, come together as a people and demand that changes be made.
With the hope of a New Year streching out before us, let’s resolve to DO SOMETHING about the environmental issues that are facing humanity. Let’s take back the power from politicians too scared to stand up for what they believe in, and corporations that are concerned only with the bottom line.
Let’s realize it is not some of us, but ALL of us that are responsible for this mess, and that only together can we be a part of the solution.
Sign the petition: “U.S. Senate: Time Is Running Out for Climate!“
Image Credit: green.in.msn.com